Life In Your Years
The other day I found myself in a conversation with a lady who was telling me about some of the health issues that she has struggled with over the years. Constant sinus and breathing issues, regularly high blood pressure, and what the doctors told her were bad kidneys. She told me of all the medications she had been prescribed and how they made her feel. One in particular that was deemed essential made her feel so miserable that other people simply couldn’t stand to be around her. She felt secluded and alone, stuck with her own thoughts and misery but felt like she had to take the drugs that were causing the suffering. Until she said no. On a routine visit to her MD, she told the doctor that she could no longer stand taking the drugs because they were ruining her life. The doctor bluntly said, “Well, you can either have quantity or quality. It’s your choice.” The lady boldly said, “ I choose quality”, and left without her drugs.
In our modern world we have done a great job of keeping people alive. And thank God! That is the God-sent side of medicine. In life or death situations we have the tools to save lives like never before in history! But instead of using medicine as a crisis care solution we have used it as a band aid to avoid taking responsibility for our own health and do the work we know is necessary to be healthy. As a consequence, people live longer BUT they live less life in their years. I have seen this first hand in the lives of my own family. My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was eight years old. She lived another 10 years but she lived those years on the couch in pain and drugs that completely changed who she was. Similarly I watched as my grandfather’s prostate cancer turned to bone cancer which caused so much pain that he was prescribed constant morphine until it damaged his brain so much that he could no longer remember who his family was. The treatments kept him alive but that is not the kind of life we all envision for ourselves or our loved ones. Both of my grandparents lived long lives with the help of a lifetime of medication but there was very little life in those years in the end. Now please don’t get me wrong, when faced with life threatening situations, do what you feel is right, but when you take account of where you are and where you want to be with your health, do what you KNOW is right.
That doctor giving an ultimatum that you can either choose quality or quantity is mind-blowing to me. I do understand that in her limited perspective of health and healing, drugs being her only tools, that notion makes sense but when you think it through she is dead wrong. What would happen to the quality of your life if today you chose a salad instead of a burger and fries or water instead of soda? What would your life look like if you chose to exercise 4 days a week? What if you woke up 5 minutes earlier to write down 3 things you were grateful for? Or got adjusted and did your home exercises consistently instead of just when you were hurting? Do you think you would feel better? Have more energy? Sleep better? Have less pain? Lose weight? Do you think your risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes would go up or down? Likewise, how would making those changes affect the quantity of your life? Do you think you live more or less years? You see, you don’t have to choose. When we live a life in alignment with how God created us, we live long, abundant, health filled lives. But there is a choice we must make. You must choose to do the hard things. Choose to say no to bad foods. Choose to wake up earlier to workout and pray. Choose to invest your time and money into your health early in life as opposed to sickness and disease later in life. But the hard choices you make today set you up for a life full of quality AND quantity.
So today, let’s choose to live in such a way that we KNOW will bring health, energy, and joy.
In Health and Faith,